Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has warned herdsmen against disobeying laws guiding the use of arms in the state.
Ortom, who said this on Monday, asked the herdsmen to either respect Benue laws or go and carry AK-47 in Bauchi State.
Governor of Bauchi, Bala Mohammed, had justified the carriage of AK-47 by herdsmen, saying that was the only option herdsmen have for self-defence.
While clarifying the statement which generated criticism, the Bauchi governor said AK-47 was used as a ‘figure of speech’.
Ortom berated Bala, saying that he was beginning to think that the Bauchi governor is a “part of the terrorist Fulani organisation terrorising the country”.
The Benue governor told the herdsmen that they could live anywhere in Nigeria provided that they would be law-abiding.
Ortom said, “Nigeria is not governed anyhow. It is not a Banana Republic. It is governed by the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. The constitution gives power to all our governors in all the states to preside over the land of their states on behalf of the people, and they’re the only people who can give allocation and can permit people to stay where they are. And so, bandits cannot find a forest and come in to hide under that forest.
“I want to tel those Fulani men. They should not come to Bauchi. Benue state is governed by the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. Benue state also has laws guiding it. Once you’re a Fulani man with legitimate papers, you are free to stay in Benue state and do business according to the laws of our land.
“Anyone who is not willing to respect the laws of our land should go and meet Bala Mohammed, then there you can carry AK-47, and you’ll not be apprehended. Here, when you come, we’ll apprehend you. I want this to be known.
“We are not against any tribe, especially the Fulani people, but rather against terrorists, killer herdsmen, bandits, kidnappers, and all types of criminals within the state.”